Tattoo Care: 5 Tips for Proper Aftercare of a New Tattoo
The best advice I can offer on how to properly care for a new tattoo is DO NOT USE LOTION ON A COOL TATTOO! Most tattoo artists advise their clients to use a rich salve for the first few days of healing, followed by colorless, fragrance-free lotions to keep skin hydrated, protected, and prevent discoloration. These lotions are relatively inexpensive and available at your local pharmacy. However, almost all of these lotions contain ingredients that have recently been shown to be more harmful than beneficial to tattoo health. Here are 5 tips for tattoo aftercare:
1. Gently clean, stay out of the sun and away from heat: During the healing and aftercare process, which may take several weeks, gently clean the tattoo every day with fragrance-free antibacterial body soap and warm water. During the first few days, there is no sun, swimming, sweating or dirt. Keep your tattoo dry and clean. During the first 24 hours, try to apply ice to the tattoo as often as possible, this will help reduce inflammation and also relieve pain.
2. Only oil or oil-based ointment for the first 3 days. Some recommend not using lotion at all for the first few days due to the high risk of infection. However, there are safe natural products that are very effective and actually speed up the healing process. For immediate tattoo aftercare, look for a lightweight oil-based product that contains hemp seed oil, tea tree oil, aloe vera, and jojoba oil.
Tea tree oil has anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties. It is a very effective remedy against countless skin ailments, infections, cuts, scrapes, burns, insect bites and skin blemishes, etc. Using tea tree oil combined with hemp seed oil will provide rich omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids. Using these oils will lightly moisturize, protect and heal the skin without causing irritation or loss of color.
3. Avoid plasma scabbing on the tattoo – During the first day, your tattoo will leak a clear liquid called plasma. Try not to let this scab on your skin, but if it does, wash it off gently with lukewarm water.
4. After the first 3 days, keep skin moisturized with a natural lotion. Keeping skin hydrated during the peeling process and long after will help with itching, flaking, and preserve the richness of your tattoo color. Like I said before, be careful around lotions that contain harmful ingredients like lanolin or petroleum. Instead, use a lotion rich in fatty acids for free radical protection and non-greasy hydration. Hemp seed lotions are best for this.
Hemp seed oil is rich in omega 3, 6 and 9 and is easily absorbed into the skin. Hemp contains anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties that are healthy and non-irritating to the skin. Continue to use a hemp seed oil lotion long after your tattoo has healed and enjoy truer, longer tattoo color and skin health.
5. Look at the ingredients: Lanolin is an ingredient that some will use, and lanolin causes allergic reactions in many people. Lanolin is the natural oil that comes from sheep’s wool. Some aftercare treatments for tattoos also contain products like beeswax or petroleum, which can clog pores and contain contaminants. These ingredients are very popular in over-the-counter creams and lotions because they are cheap and easy to make. The lanolin and mineral oil found in these lotions cause excessive seepage, clogging, crusting, scarring, and loss of color. Stay away from products that contain mineral oil, dyes, propylene glycol, or parabens.
Earthly Body Tattoo Toner preserves tattoo color, does not fade, is vegan, and contains no petroleum, lanolin, or parabens. It also works wonders in healing piercings.